Join Jewish Comedians Rachel Creeger and Philip Simon for Episode 4 of their comedy podcast, a chat show about all things Jewish produced by Russell Balkind. This week’s guests are casting director, agent and producer Esta Charkham, and screenwriter and director Gary Sinyor.
Esta started her working life as an actress on stage and television, however it wasn’t long before she was drawn behind the scenes finding her niche as one of the UK’s leading Casting Directors. Series such as The Professionals gave way to bigger responsibilities, casting Quadrophenia, Scum and Oscar winning Chariots of Fire. With this experience she branched out and became a Producer. Her first project was family drama series Robin of Sherwood, following which she produced Boon for ITV, watched by over 13 million viewers. Esta went on to produce landmark series Birds of a Feather for the BBC, Channel 4’s cult comedy series Nightingales; children’s series No Sweat; sit-com Grown-Ups for the BBC and won a British Comedy Award for One Foot in the Grave. She was awarded an honorary degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in recognition of her work with students. She puts her success down to many things; getting up early, answering the phone after two rings and wands of mascara, but most of all to her good fortune in meeting and collaborating with great talent. What little spare time she has is taken up with collecting underwear and clothing and volunteering for the Asylum Seeker and Refugee Project at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue.
Gary Sinyor: @garysinyor
An experienced international and award winning film-maker, Gary trained at the National Film and TV School graduating with BAFTA nominated short The Unkindest Cut. His first feature film Leon the Pig Farmer won numerous awards and is still regarded as a defining UK Jewish Comedy that appealed to a global audience. His next 2 British films were Solitaire for 2 and Stiff Upper Lips before moving to the US to direct The Bachelor for New Line Cinema. He subsequently returned to the UK and set up Magnet Films with Sir David Frost. After making family comedy Bob The Butler with Tom Greene and Brooke Shields, he made In Your Dreams with Dexter Fletcher and Linda Hamilton. In 2016 he wrote and directed his first play NotMoses in London’s West End. He also made improvisation football comedy United We Fall, before writing and directing a psychological drama/thriller The Unseen which in 2019 was released in the US as Amaurosis. His latest work is a 6 part sitcom called The Jewish Enquirer – a return to the style of comedy of his first film Leon the Pig Farmer.
So those are our guests. Follow them on social media, follow US on social media and don’t forget to let us know what you think about the show.
*This episode was recorded under lockdown conditions.